Monday, July 15, 2019 Elyria 90°

Jim Ingraham

Jim Ingraham: Think you know the Indians? This season, don't bet on it

  • 24415346

    In a strange season for the Indians, here's one of the stranger stats: Relief pitcher Josh Smith is averaging 16.2 strikeouts and 12.6 hits per nine innings.



As Yogi Berra might have said, “The beauty of baseball is that nobody knows nothing.”

Just when you think you know something, you know nothing. So maybe Yogi meant to say, “Everybody knows nothing,” had he, you know, actually said something like that.

I was thinking about Yogi, and how I know nothing, when I watched Roberto Perez’s 14th home run of the year sail over the right field wall Tuesday night.

I, who know nothing, thought Roberto Perez would be a major downgrade from All-Star catcher Yan Gomes, whom the Indians traded to Washington during the offseason. Gomes hit 16 home runs for the Indians last year. His career high is 21, in 2014.

Prior to this year, Perez’s career high for home runs was eight. Last year he hit two. This year he’s on a pace to hit 28. That would break the Indians’ record for most home runs by a catcher, which is 25, by John Romano in 1962.

Perez is also on a pace for 62 RBIs. Last year Gomes had 48. This year with Washington, Gomes has three home runs and 20 RBIs.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Said I, who know nothing.

Here are some other examples of unexplainable, inexplicable phenomena from this incomprehensible Indians season:

  • The Indians are 30-17 (.638) in April and June, and were 12-17 (.414) in May.
  • After being last, or nearly last in the American League in runs scored for most of the first two months of the season, in the last 19 games the Indians are third in the American League and sixth in the majors in runs scored.
  • Zach Plesac has more wins than Corey Kluber.
  • Aaron Civale and Kevin Plawecki are tied for the lowest ERA on the team at 0.00, and only one of them is a pitcher.
  • Jake Bauers, the Indians’ most used designated hitter, leads the team in strikeouts.
  • Greg Allen, who has only played in 27 games with the Indians, and did not hit a triple in 26 of them, is tied for the team lead in triples. He has two.
  • The Indians have been outscored 30-18 by Kansas City, the team with the second-worst record in the American League, but the Indians have outscored the Yankees, the team with the third-best record in the league, 19-13.
  • Tyler Naquin has hit in every spot in the order but leadoff.
  • Francisco Lindor hasn’t hit in any spot in the order but leadoff.
  • Reliever Josh Smith is averaging 16.2 strikeouts and 12.6 hits per nine innings.
  • Trevor Bauer has hit an American League-leading 11 batters, two more than he hit all of last year. Only five pitchers in Indians history have led the league in hit batters. The last to do so was Justin Masterson, with 17 in 2013. With 11 already, Bauer is nearly halfway to the franchise record for hit batters, which is 24, by Otto Hess in 1906. Hess is the only player in major league history who was born in Switzerland. Bauer, ironically, was not.
  • Carlos Gonzalez was the Indians’ second-leading hitter in April, with a .261 batting average, and their second worst hitter in May with an average of .169.
  • Only Lindor has started more games at shortstop than Eric Stamets (14).
  • The Indians lead the American League with 20 sacrifice bunts, seven more than any other team. The Indians’ 20 sac bunts are a mere 175 shy of the franchise record of 195, which was set by Otto Hess’ 1906 Cleveland Naps. The buntingest Nap of them all that year was Bunk Congalton, who probably should have been called “Bunt” Congalton, after leading the team with 24 sacrifice bunts.
  • The Indians are third in the league in pitching, and Kluber has the highest ERA on the staff.
  • On June 6 Jason Kipnis had a slash line of .211/.271/.307. Since then: .385/.431/.673.
  • Indians hitters are hitting .237 with a .318 on-base percentage vs. left-handed pitchers and .237 with a .317 on-base percentage vs. right-handed pitchers.
  • Kipnis is hitting .357 with runners in scoring position, and .222 in all other at-bats.
  • With 30 saves in less than a year with the Indians, Brad Hand already ranks fourth on the team’s all-time list for saves by a left-hander, with a chance to reach No. 1 on that list before the end of the season. The three ahead of him: Sid Monge 46, Dave LaRoche 42 and Don Mossi 32.
  • Hand was 22-for-22 in saves this year until he ran into the mighty Royals juggernaut Tuesday night. After giving up just four runs all year, Hand gave up five runs in the span of five batters.
  • In three appearances this year against the mighty Royals juggernaut, Hand has a 40.51 ERA. In his other 33 appearances, Hand’s ERA is 0.82.

I find that very odd.

Said I, who know nothing.

Contact Jim Ingraham at (440) 329-7135 or and follow him @Jim_Ingraham on Twitter.
Click to view comments
To Top

Fetching stories…